Ostrya virginiana - American Hophornbeam, Ironwood
Family - Betulaceae
Size - Small tree 25 to 30 feet in height with a spread approximately 1/2 to 2/3rds the height. Pyramidal in youth, gradually assuming a rounded outline with horizontal and drooping branches as it ages. Growth rate is slow, about a foot a year.
Foliage - Alternate, simple, sharp and doubly serrate. Dark green above, paler beneath. Fall color is somewhat of a off yellow and tends to drop early.
Flower/Fruit/Seed - A nutlet enclosed in a papery, segmented, 1" long involucre resembling 'hops', hence the name Hophornbeam.
Bark - Grayish-brown breaking up into long vertical strips.
Pests and Diseases - None serious
Landscape Use - Nice small to medium carefree tree once established, for lawns, parks, campuses and municipalities. Some of our Hophornbeam are approaching the 10 year mark and are located in a range of areas from open grassy locations to very narrow (3 foot) parking lot islands and all have done fine.
Performance - 8 Is rated zones 3 to 9. Is very adaptable to a wide range of conditions. Performs well in dry, gravelly poor soils, and in the wild is often found growing in upland sites in these conditions. Tolerates full sun to part shade.